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3 year old with Bad attitude and very mean to his friends?

My 3 year old son Haiden is having some major issues. And i don't know any ways to help him or punish him.
when i tell him something and he doesn't want to do it, he tells me no mom u do it. Like example he is potty trained and i know he can pull up and down his own pants but recently he doesn't want to pull them down.And when he knows i am busy and can't help him he screams at me. I tell him u know Haiden ur going to school in a couple of months and they are not going to help u pull up and down ur pants. He says so u do it mommy.
Then when i am teaching him how to pedel his bike he gets mad and says i can't do it, i not good at it. He is stubborn and wants it to go his way and thats it.
Then when we played soccer together with his friend Dan, Haiden is a good soccer player for only 3 years old. But he fell into the tree and got hurt. He ran off and i followed him. He said i am not good at bikes, i am not good at soccer. I told him Haiden ur a very good soccer player, and lots of players get hurt. He said ok, and said as far as the bike it takes practice.
Then as his attitude when i tell him to be nice or eat or play nice or even share. He says i cant' so then i say well if u can't then i will take it away. And i do.
He bad mouths me too. He tells me to shut up, that i am mean to him. and when i scold him and he cries he goes on the couch and says mommy hates me. I reassure him i don't hate him, i say i love u but ur being naughty so mommy had to punish u.
He is an older brother but he never started this behavior until he turned 3 years old on me

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Asked by Anonymous at 10:32 AM on Jun. 10, 2011 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Answers (16)
  • He is testing his boundaries. Time to stand your ground.

    Answer by pookiekins34 at 10:33 AM on Jun. 10, 2011

  • Sounds to me like there's a lot of pressure on this kid. The things you are talking about can be very frustrating. When you say that you tell him to 'eat nice' or 'play nice' are you specific with what you want.
    sounds to me that maybe you are asking a little too much.
    He may be upset about the pressure of starting school and he may just not be ready.
    He's only 3, maybe you need to back off a bit. I personally have never met a 3 year old that didn't get upset like this from time to time over the things that you mention.
    It may be frustrating to you that he isn't acting more grown up at this point, but this sounds like a normal 3 year old to me.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:42 AM on Jun. 10, 2011

  • Well, all of what your are describing is pretty typical. 3 year olds are still pushing boundries and alot of this is about control. I am seeing my nephew is going through this right now. My son was not the same because he is autistic.
    As far as punishment, have you tried timeouts (though this should not be used with the potty issues) - maybe a reward when he goes by himself. I agree with one thing the previous poster said for sure, you need to be specific in your expectations. What is "play nice'? This too vague for most 3 years olds. "Don't hit/push/kick/shove" is good, its direct. "Share" and "Take turns/wait your turn", are also like this and can be demonstrated. You should also make sure to praise you son when he does something good. If you want politeness you have to set the example, and then remind (at the appropriate moment), remind and remind again. Also, if just politeness is forgotten you should not punish him.

    Answer by Kalic0 at 11:08 AM on Jun. 10, 2011

  • He is also a big fan of the Disney's cars and let me tell u when someone is sitting on his MCQueen couch he pushes, shoves, sits on the person, hits the person to try to get the person off. I have taken the couch away, and he has Cars toys and he won't even let anyone touch those even if he is playing with a different Cars toys. I have closed the toys off, but he just knocks the gate over. I have sent him in his room. I don't get anywhere with him.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 11:17 AM on Jun. 10, 2011

  • I have learned a lot about modeling (demonstrating wanted behaviors) having a child with autism. I think modeling can also help normal kids when they are have trouble with concepts like sharing and taking turns. When he says he "can't" he may mean he doesn't understand how to share. Try demonstrating through interactive play where you share a toy with him, or supervised play with another peer... you can also demonstrate taking turns at the same time if he is having trouble with this as well. Also, you may be putting these two together as "sharing" and this may be confusing to him. These are two concepts that may need to be understood each on their own first.

    Answer by Kalic0 at 11:29 AM on Jun. 10, 2011

  • My dd is 3.5 and does the same things. We could be walking to the park where some other kids are playing and she glares at them the whole time! We've been putting her in the corner and when she comes out (after she is quiet for 3 minutes) she tells us what she did wrong and why she things she went to the corner. We tell her why before we put her in and everything but I have no idea why this attitude suddenly comes out! It's very frustrating and I do think it's all boundry testing. Stand you're ground, make sure to still spend 1 on 1 time and keep reassuring. GL!!!

    Answer by 07lilmama1108 at 6:17 PM on Jun. 10, 2011

  • 07lilmama1108- thanks for the advice. I don't know where my son learns this behavior. The nurse told me for his bad words to put liquid dish soap in his mouth on the cheek. He will spit but at least he could learn his lesson. I give him more time than i do with his 8month old brother.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 10:09 PM on Jun. 10, 2011

  • I think you have a lot of good answers.

    Answer by tootoobusy at 11:11 PM on Jun. 10, 2011

  • I think reflective listening could be very helpful in the situations you describe. Instead of engaging the content of what he is saying (such as whether or not you can/will do something, or whether you approve of his words or tone), you reflect back what you "get" from him. Basically, you acknowledge his feelings or wishes (and you can accept them, which is basically acknowledging that he has them & that it's okay, not wrong.) This isn't the same as agreeing, or granting something. It is reflecting and just seeing him, but it can avoid or prevent many struggles (which often are about the negation kids experience when we engage the validity of what they're saying or asking, and take issue with it or deny the request/demand.)
    So, the potty situation when you are busy & can't or won't help with his pants (which is a valid limit; I advocate being flexible but sometimes things are impossible or we just choose for valid reasons not

    Answer by girlwithC at 1:35 AM on Jun. 11, 2011

  • CONT
    to accommodate a request) that situation you are holding a personal limit & he has an emotional reaction to it. He expressed his desire (it may have been a demand!) & encountered resistance from you. He struggles (to persuade you, he wants to have his wish fulfilled) & when you hold your limit, he grieves the loss of what he wants.
    This is a universal process, to struggle for what we want & to grieve when we don't achieve it. It's an existential experience! These protests are expressions of personal feelings & part of an important & necessary process. The FORM of it can change shape over time (his pre-frontal cortex is not fully online or completely wired at this time, but each of these interactions with you is laying down neural pathways & the more accurately he is understood by you, the more optimally-wired his brain will be. Plus, this portion is responsible for "executive function," so things like impulse control

    Answer by girlwithC at 1:47 AM on Jun. 11, 2011

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